BIDA, Nigeria -- The phrase "I do" comes once -- maybe twice or thrice -- in most people's lives. For one man in Niger, it comes on a weekly basis.
Bello Maasaba, an Islamic faith healer, has married a grand total of 107 eager women.
In a country with a long tradition of polygamy, the number is still quite, quite high. The number of children fathered by the popular healer also reaches skyward: 185 in all.
"I get a revelation from God telling me any woman I'm going to marry. If it wasn't from God, I wouldn't have gone beyond two," he explained to Los Angeles Times writer Robyn Dixon.
Maasaba said that he was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who told him to pursue faith healing and marry many, many women.
His religious quest for wives doesn't sit well with everyone. It landed him in jail for 22 days after being arrested under Islamic law; which scholars agree limits men to four wives. After protests from his wives and civil rights lawyers intervened, he was finally granted bail. And after 57 wives testified on his behalf in the country's High Court, Maasaba was freed without charge.
Maasaba, his wives and his faith-healing practice are all housed in a massive four-story, 89-room home in Bida, Nigeria.
He said it's a peaceful life, one without worry. His wives agree, saying they never fight with one another.
When asked about the more intimate details of his life with so many women, and he's asked often, he said everything works just fine.
"In his wisdom, God has given me the power and strength to give them the sexual portion they need," he told Dixon. "If I didn't satisfy them, they would leave."
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